Since the best candidate will never survive the dance of obedience to wealth, a dance that Republicans do on their knees and Democrats keep tripping over their own feet, perhaps just a general outline of what it will take to claim my vote is in order. And, for those of you still deep in denial at Gore losing the 2000 election through his own incompetence and cowardly behavior, I will never vote for any candidate that does not represent my political and progressive social views regardless of your misplaced anger. Get over it and find someone to run as the Democrat's candidate that represents decency, honor, fairness, justice and inclusiveness. Otherwise, if all that the party can offer is Republican wannabes and recycled right wing rhetoric then it is you and your party that will help the thugs to maintain their occupation of our government.
So, what must a candidate stand for to become viable in my opinion and, frankly, in the minds of the tens of millions of voters who have become nauseated at the sight of the losers both of the major parties offer?
First, above all else, there must be a constitutional amendment banning, not just limiting, any transfer of funds to any candidate for any office anywhere in America. All elections will be held under what has come to be called Sunshine Elections, where any money used in any campaign will be funded by the government using our own tax money. Should any candidate be proven to have accepted any funds or any benefits from any outside source during the campaigns and after or even used his own funds during the campaign, that candidate must be sentenced to a minimum of two years in a federal penitentiary and give up their rights to ever again run for any elective office. Making the law a constitutional amendment will make it impossible for any federal court, up to and including the Supreme Court, to alter or negate it in any way whatsoever.
No government representative may become involved in nor vote on any legislation pertaining to their past employers or the employers of their immediate families. Professional lobbyists will be banned. Again, anyone doing so will automatically face substantial prison time.
All elections at all levels of government, will be done by Instant Runoff Voting. This will enable even unknown candidates to run for office while allowing the voters the opportunity to vote for their favorites in order of their choices and not, as now, simply wasting their vote on the lesser of two great evils rather than on the candidate of their choice.
All media that is licensed by or avails itself of the services of any government agency (meaning all broadcast corporations and any print media that uses the postal services for distribution) will be forced to provide candidates a certain amount of free air time or ad space in prime time during the week. Debates will be held for all offices and all candidates from all parties will be allowed to participate. Questions must come from the audience, not professional hacks or other politicians.
The USA PATRIOT ACT and all other unconstitutional legislation must be repealed. The rights and freedoms of all Americans must become paramount again and remain so as long as this nation survives. Each candidate elected to public office must swear to uphold the tenets of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and to represent the best interests of the people over all other interests.
All Americans currently held illegally under those vile "anti-terrorist" acts must either be released immediately or charges brought against them in an open court of law. All evidence of criminal activity must be presented before a judge or jury with any interested citizen present.
Never again may this government participate in or encourage or sanction the torturing of any other human being regardless of the circumstances. America must always show the world that we are an honorable people and that we will treat all other human beings with the respect due them.
Congress must reassume all powers granted it through the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Never again can we allow moronic, violent, greedy religious fundamentalists to start any wars or make threats of war against any other sovereign nation without the full debate the Constitution requires on the floor of Congress and an open and fully reported vote by each representative.
The separation of church and state must again be inviolate. Not one penny of taxpayer's dollars can every again find its way into the hands of greedy, nasty little people who run most "organized" religions. Also, all church property will be taxed on the exact same basis as all other property in America. Any funds that a church acquires will also be taxed on an equal basis as other businesses except in those instances where the church proves that it is a non-profit agency and so reports each quarter.
All recreational drugs will be legalized and taxed. Those taxes will be held in trust for programs that, based on reality and not on the falsehoods of the DARE program, deal with rehabilitation and education. The information that is then disseminated to the students and the world must be based only on reproducible research.
Income taxes will once again be a progressive system. Those who benefit the most from the laws and protection of the United States owe the most in return. The minimum wage will become a living wage in that it will be adjusted quarterly to correspond to what is needed to support a family of four. At the point that income is in excess of that minimum requirement, taxes will be deducted in an ever growing percentage with a maximum of 35%.
The maximum that any employee of any corporation in America can earn is 19 times the wages of the lowest paid employee. Any benefits in excess of that amount will be taxed at 100%.
Capital gains from investments will be taxed according to the amount of time the investments are held. Anything less than one year will see a 40% tax rate. That rate will lessen each year until after five years, there will be no tax attached to the sale of those investments. This will encourage long term investing rather that short sighted profit takers who are responsible for many of the failed companies and unemployed Americans over the last twenty years or more.
Health care will be free to all. The government will, through a panel consisting of medical professionals (not lobbyists or lawyers) but with the majority being elected citizens, control costs and salaries and education and all other aspects of medical care. All citizens will be treated equally although at any time should private funds be paid for any health care then federal funds will be withheld completely.
All laws must prove, before it can be voted on, that it does not affect children in a negative way. Children are the most defenseless among us and, thus, we are completely responsible for their care and happiness.
Anyone willing to work will also be eligible for child care regardless of their level of income (although the cost will be a sliding scale with the poorest paying nothing while the wealthy pay according to their ability). This childcare will be governed by very specific laws enforced by a special revue board and law enforcement agents. Employees of these centers will be required to undergo in-depth psychological testing as well as attend a one year, paid, course specializing in the skills needed for this position.
Social Security will never be privatized but will always be an American's reward for a lifetime of labor. Benefits will equal the average levels necessary for one person to live comfortably. Private pension systems will be funded by both the employee and employer but the funds will never be under the control of the employer. The pension funds will follow the employee from job to job but will be available as disbursements only under very limited circumstances or at or after the age of 55.
Naturally, all economic treaties in effect will be negated and renegotiated to include environmental, worker safety, labor and child protection rights for all nations. There will be strict punishments for any corporation or individual who trespasses against these protections.
Unions will be, under all circumstances, free to organize any and all companies. All negotiations will be held with the financial records of the company open to inspection and all union files open as well. Any crimes committed by union officials as a part of their duties will be punished with harsh minimum penalties and a lifetime ban on holding any other union office.
States will be required to uphold their laws chartering corporations. That means that any corporation that is found to have substantially violated local, state or federal laws will have their charters automatically revoked. All assets of the company will be immediately held by an appropriate state agency and then sold with all proceeds being split among the laborers of that corporation. All executives will have their salaries suspended upon notification of a decree of guilt and any and all proceeds that can be shown to have arisen from those criminal activities will be impounded and shared among the laborers of that corporation equally.
America has always had the power to be either an influence that would make this a better world or to be as we are today; selfish, self-centered, greedy, violent and just plain patriotically ignorant. We must reverse our course through history and begin to accept our place in the world and to bring all nations up to our standard of living and health care and education.
We can even do so while "making a profit" for a period of time by using American corporate skills to build the roads and hospitals and schools and basic infrastructure while using local labor. Those local laborers would work their way up into the managerial levels and, eventually, will run existing corporations or found new and local ones to continue that work. America will continue to profit from its philanthropic ways by providing first class educational opportunities for the world's executives and managers and the like. We will also profit from providing the raw material and the processes needed to turn that material into the finished matter necessary to a higher standard of living. We will benefit from the massive amount of new wealth around the world that will be spent on the products of the future, a future that will improve the everyday life of the world. Finally, bring the standard of living of the world up to equal ours will negate the jealousy and hate so prevalent today. This will substantially lessen our need to spend trillions of dollars on wasteful and murderous weapon systems and armies of millions of otherwise useful Americans.
These are but a few of the policies that I demand of any candidate for any public office. Frankly, in a far better world, these would be the most basic foundation of the Democratic Party's platform but, since the Democratic Party exists in name only, it will fall to the Green Party to offer these sensible, progressive and fair policies. That said, I will probably be voting Green once again and regardless of the whining and bitching of those who demand that everyone vote as their warped view of the world demands. If the moron and his thugs remain in charge of this regime for another four years, it will be the fault of the Democratic Party and absolutely no one else. Yes, they will of course look for someone to blame their shortcoming on and to condemn for their party's idiot leaders but it will be their party that history will damn for the damages of this regime.
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